In October 2019, it was announced that some US airports would start using new Computer Tomography (CT) scanners. After a recent warning from Kodak, Fujifilm has also issued an advisory for its customers regarding these changes. The company warns photographers not to expose their unprocessed Instax and other film to new airport scanners. Along with the warning, Fuji also introduces some guidelines for handling film when boarding an airplane, because exposing it to CT and X-Ray scanners will destroy it.
A couple of months ago, it was announced that some airports across the US had switched over from the more traditional X-Ray machines to use Computer Tomography (CT) scanners to check passenger luggage. Unlike film, which can usually handle a few x-rays just fine if it’s low ISO, CT scans will destroy pretty much any film almost instantly.
With this technology set to expand to at least 145 airports in total, Kodak has posted an advisory to Facebook with some guidance on travelling with film. They actually did some testing with Portra 400 and the CT scanners in cooperation with the TSA to see exactly what kind of effect it had.
Here comes a warning for film photographers flying through US airports. Some airports are using new hand luggage scanners that will destroy your unprocessed film in just one scan. They have already been unveiled in 17 airports across the US, and there are likely more to come.
X-ray has certainly brought a revolution and it’s a very useful invention. However, the X-ray and photographic film aren’t exactly best friends. If you travel by plane, you know that your luggage needs to go through an X-ray scanner.
Unfortunately, the X-rays can do damage to every unprocessed film, including the one already in your camera. The images you develop from such films will be foggy, grainy and with dark or light patterns and patches. This is why you need to protect your film and make sure that it doesn’t get scanned on the airport. Mark from the Analog Process will show you how.